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Frequently Asked Questions

About Akureyri Tours

Akureyri, known as Iceland’s ‘capital of the North,' is the largest urban settlement outside the southwest region. Here, you can partake in a great number of tours and activities that introduce you to Akureyri's fascinating history and culture. 

Many excursions exploring North Iceland use Akureyri as a departure point. These include tours of the Diamond Circle sightseeing route, visits to Lake Mývatn and whale watching trips, to name only a few.

1. When is the best time of year to visit Akureyri?

The best time of year to visit Akureyri depends on what you plan to see and do. Akureyri is easier to reach in summer, and there are a greater number of tour options available from the town. In the wintertime, however, visitors to Akureyri can ski or snowboard on the nearby, mountainous slopes.

2. What are the main attractions in Akureyri?

Akureyri's city centre is lined with museums, cafés, shops and galleries. On a hill, overlooking the centre, is the ever-popular Akureyri Church and close by are the Botanical Gardens and one of Iceland's best swimming pools.

3. Can you see the northern lights in Akureyri?

Yes, it is possible, though Akureyri is not optimal for watching the auroras given the town's light-pollution. However, there are bus, jeep and boat tours that depart from the town in order to ensure better sightings.

4. Where can I stay in and around Akureyri?

Akureyri and its surrounding area boast a wealth of hotels, hostels, bungalows and guesthouses. It is best to book your place well in advance, however, as the reservations fill up quickly throughout the year.

5. How far is Akureyri from Reykjavik?

Akureyri is 380 km (236 mi) from Reykjavík. Driving between locations will take approximately four and a half hours by car.

6. Do any planes fly between Akureyri and Reykjavik?

Yes, planes fly daily from Reykjavík Domestic Airport. The flight lasts approximately 45 minutes.

7. Is Akureyri on the Ring Road?

Yes, it is.

8. What facilities are there in Akureyri?

Akureyri is one of Iceland’s largest towns. There are museums, shops, restaurants, bars and cafés, a botanical garden, medical facilities, supermarkets, swimming pools and gas stations.

9. Is it better to stay in Akureyri than in Reykjavik for the majority of my trip?

It depends entirely on what you plan to see and do, but the main attractions of both settlements can be explored within the space of a day. However, for a greater choice in downtown attractions and accommodation, Reykjavík is a better bet.

10. How many people live in Akureyri?

Akureyri is home to approximately 18,000 residents.

Customer reviews

Read reviews by travellers from across the world

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Our tour was in early March 2018. We were lucky with the weather and it was beautiful every day. The tour was easy to setup up just note the communications might not be immediate depending on time zone (I am in US). It did not affect any of the travel. I recommend at your hotel to ask where the tour buses pick up passengers. Ours was not clear and our guide Sveinbjorn had to search us out. Sveinbjorn was a fantastic guide. Was a safe driver and could definitely relax and watch the scenery without worry. He takes pride in his country and enjoys talking about it with a passion. He made sure were on time and had it set where we arrived earlier at places then other tour groups which made it easy for us to get around. If the place was dangerous he made sure the group knew (multiple times). What I liked is I learned more about Iceland from him then any other resource. Now more about the trip. Each day we were on the road by 8 local time so the day starts early. All the hotels were nice and there were some brand new ones. A travel note is once you are at a hotel expect to be there and no other exploring since they are isolated. I personally was nervous about hiking the glacier but our guide (did not remember his name) kept me at ease and it was a great experience. The ice caves were fantastic and a lot of it was due to our guide Faye. She kept us entertained and played Icelandic rock music for us. All the places we stopped were interesting and we were glad we did the extended tours to the east side of the island (away from most of the tourists). I think my only frustrating thing was the end of the tour from Akureyri back to Reykjavík. We did not spend any time in Akureyri because our plane left about 11:00am local time. Might have been nice to seen more of Akureyri. And once we arrived back in Reykjavík we assumed there would be transportation since the tour asked where we were staying once we got back in Reykjavík but we had to find it ourselves. Plenty of taxis just be aware. I recommend a new visitor to the island to use a tour company and I think you will enjoy your stay

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 16 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

We joined the 8-day tour with our guide Svein in March, hunting for amazing Aurora and beautiful landscapes. In the end, I left my camera on the minibus. Svein was so kind to send it back to me. I was really appreciate it.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We completed this tour in March 2018 and our tour guide was Hildigunnur(Hildi). The whole tour was an amazing experience from start to finish. Our wonderful guide Hildi was a great ambassador for her country and ensured that we not only enjoyed the trip but also received a great insight into the history, culture and geography of Iceland. Nothing was too much trouble for her as she would help us with scheduled or unscheduled stops for photos, trying local produce and understand in local folklore. The trip was well planned with convenient stops and lovely accommodation. The atmosphere which Hildi created was one of comfort and relaxation while enjoying some unbelievable scenery. We enjoyed not having to rush which we would have done if we did day tours from Reykjavik. All in all a great tour with an excellent, caring and fun tour guide.

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Ragnheiður was a fun and great guide with an amazingly positive attitude and we enjoyed the trip immensely. She kept us very comfortable and made the most of our time with good pacing of the viewpoints and visits with plenty of rest-stops in between. The sights were all well picked and provided a wonderful view into the natural treasures of Iceland. Very happy with the tour and our wonderful guide Ragnheiður.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

We had a wonderful 6 day tour with Ragnheiður. She is a fantastic guide, giving us extra time at places and showing us special places not on the itinerary. Our group of 9 bonded well, in part by our guide and we had a lot of fun seeing the sights of such a beautiful country, taking selfies, playing in the snow, exploring ice caves, hiking up a glacier...the list goes on! The accommodations were fantastic and really added to the experience. We were also fortunate to see the aurora which was a highlight of the trip. I had a wonderful trip and many stories to take home.

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This was the greatest tour ever. Everyone that I interacted with at Guide to Iceland was awesome and helpful. Our driver and guide for this tour was Sigurður G Viðarsson. He was absolutely amazing. Right from the start he made it fell less like a tour with strangers and more of a road trip with friends. Siggi took care of us the entire trip and shared multiple stories of Iceland which kept us entertained. We were able to see a lot of sights everyday due to his excellent driving and we always felt safe with him on the wheel no matter how rough the weather got. Siggi always made stops for us to use the restroom, for lunch or if anyone of us had a special request. The tour with him always felt smooth and not rushed. At all sights we had ample time to take photos and to relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery. He even lead the group to the waterfall Dettifoss as the path was full of snow and he hiked up Hverfjall with us and helped us whenever it got difficult. The hotel accommodation provided was excellent with most of them having hot pools to relax in after a long day of walking and taking pictures. All the accommodation provided were far from the city lights which made them excellent for viewing the Northern Lights. Pro tip – Once its past 10 just head to the open hot pool, get in and look up. The warm water around your body and the dancing lights above will be an experience you won’t forget. I opted for the Glacier Hike and Ice Cave activities. Unfortunately due to strong winds the hike was cancelled. Siggi took us to the parking lot from where the hike originates and let us out to stretch our legs. The wind was so powerful that it was hard to walk 100m to take the photo of the glacier. I can’t imagine what would have happened if we had to go on the hike. I am glad that they cancelled the hike for our safety. Two thumbs up to the team for making the right call. We were lucky with Ice cave the next day as the weather mellowed down. Our guide Faye was very informative and kept us safe at all times. Whenever there was a difficult path she was always there to guide and lend a hand. She told us all about how the caves are formed and answered all our questions. She even gave us tips to get good photos and took some for us. Instead of getting a refund for the Glacier Hike I opted for another activity. I walked into the nearest Guide to Iceland office and was assisted by Emilia. She brought out her laptop and helped me select a more suitable activity. I was credited for the cancelled hike and only had to pay the price difference. She was patient and helpful during the entire process. I would recommend Guide to Iceland to everyone and will be taking their tour the next time I come to Iceland. Hopefully soon.

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My recent trip with David Ingi (greatest guide ever) was just absolutely fantastic. I enjoyed every second of it and words cannot describe what i witnessed in that country. This trip was very well organized and accommodations for each night are top quality. By completing the ring road you would definitely see everything iceland has to offer and trust me one of the ways to make a road trip most exciting is to have a experienced local that stop at the most unexpected places. Thank you David, for showing the group this magic country and I would love to come back to see a distinctly differ landscape in the summertime.

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Ragnheiður, she is the best of the best! She loves her country and show us the most of it proudly including her personal spots! We had an unforgettable time with her and no words could express my thanx to her for this tour! She is simply the best of the best!

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 16 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

It's an amazing 8 Day Winter Excursion with our cool viking guide, Siggi. The tour will not be awesome without him. He is a caring, thoughtful and helpful guide with plenty of initiatives to allow us to further experience the icelandic culture. For e.g. Bringing us to the geothermal bath and having a taste of Icelandic fermented shark meat etc. On top of that, his is a skillful driver, who take us through the rough weather that we encountered along the way. We felt that he went the extra mile to allow us to experience and explore the places and culture than to spend our time aimlessly:) The hotels provided are strategically located to get a good view of the northern lights display and most of them are equipped with facilities such as a hot tub and sauna. We are glad that we are able to catch the northern lights display for 2 nights. They're really great:) We would like to recommend the tour to adventurous travelers who are looking for an experiential tour in Iceland:) We had a very memorable tour!

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 16 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

A great 8 day Winter Excursion, special credits should go to our tour manager Seggi Viking. As a driver he is skillful and considerate, as a tour guide he is experienced and knowledgeable and a an Islandic local he is caring and friendly. It was a challenging adventure to climb up a snow covered crater to catch a scenic surroundings. Experienced a taste of cold and warm at the same time in a Geothermal Bath. We were fortunate to catch 2 nights of spectacular Aurora display during this trip. Contemplating to come back during summer to have another different experience.

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

This tour was just amazing! The guide, David, was really great, funny and always available. The hotels during the tour were really great, even exceeded our expectations. The only slight problem is that hotels are mostly situated in remote areas were there are no other options but to eat at the hotel's restaurant and these were pretty expensive. We really enjoyed every site we visited and the landscape throughout the tour is exceptional! We had the right amount of time thanks to a small bus (of 16 people) and explanations on each site. Little improvements this tour could offer: possibility to book this tour as a half-board with dinners included in the hotels, and a little bit more aurora hunting would be appreciated!

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6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

4.9 average rating | 18 reviews

6 Day Guided Winter Tour | Highlights of South, East & North Iceland

Did everything I wanted. This tour was actually hosted by Aurora Hunters the guides name was Sveinbjorn Sigurdsson. He is the best. We saw the aurora lights. We we're blessed. All the stars aligned on this trip. We had signs of the number 13 and it went well. Perfect in every way. I wish aurora hunters had a website so I can rate them there. Thanks guide to Iceland though as well. Due to rain the previous week we were unable to go ice caving into Vatnajokull but they took us to a different ice cave. This is a great representation of Iceland. Sveinbjorn even went out of his way to make sure I got a picture on riding an Icelandic horse. I wish him all the best. My heart and mind and spirit is now more expanded after this trip thanks to all involved, Svein and those on my small tour group of 13 total. -Erick Sangalang

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Overall it was a nice tour and the guide is great. Everything was arranged nicely and hotels were all wonderful. The guide tried his very best to show us the northern lights in two consecutive nights and drove all the way to chase the light. Unfortunately we were unable to see it but that’s because of the cloudy and bad weather. I truly appreciated the effort the guide did to work the best out of it. Another pity was not being able to visit the ice cave due to weather conditions as well. All the attractions were great and we had sufficient time for exploring and making pictures. The guide also tried to make the drive more interesting by telling us a lot of knowledge and stories about each spot and Iceland. Shortcomings for the tour might be the schedule can be more packed or days of the tour can be reasonable shortened as we arrived the hotel quite early each day, provided that it’s in the middle of nowhere and didn’t have much to walk around the hotel. And the pick up time is not very correct and sometimes you have to wait over 30 mins. That’s making people kind of nervous and confused about the arrangement. Overall, it’s a wonderful tour and I recommend it!

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Overall, the 6-day tour is wonderful and beyond my expectation. It is lucky to have good weather at most of the time in our journey. Our driver and guide Magnus is a very nice person. He arranged everything well and gave us reasonable advice. Thanks a lot! Some suggestions here, for Guide to Iceland and for future tourists. 1, Be prepared for the bad weather in winter time. The schedule may be changed a lot and you may missed some attractions. 2, Glacier walking could be better. We spent a lot of time on the way to access the glacier and equip the gears. The actual time we stayed on the glacier was short. 3, The ice cave is kind of small and less attractive. I understand different company may have different ice cave, but please choose a partner who owns a nicer ice cave. Be advised, the scenery on the way to the ice cave is stunning. Do not miss it. 4, On day 1, the claimed pickup time was 8 am for all members of our group, but the bus have to pick up one by one from different hotels. So, for some people, they have to wait one hour or even longer until the bus arrived their hotel. They may feel uncomfortable or confused ( not for me, cause I am the first one to be picked up). I believe a proper notice may be helpful and improve the experience of the tourists. Thanks again to Magnus and to Guide to Iceland. I personally recommend this tour.

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8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

4.9 average rating | 16 reviews

8 Day Winter Excursion | Guided Circle of Iceland Minibus Tour

Very good tour. The guides were great, mother nature only interfered with a few activities, and the scenery and northern lights are almost beyond description. The hotels were also very good.

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